Monday 6 February 2012

Fernet February - "The Bittercup" from Pourhouse

Welcome to Fernet February, where all month I will be sharing original recipes from the best bars in Vancouver, Seattle, and Victoria.
Now that we've covered what Fernet is and what the general challenge is for mixing it, we can jump right into the cocktails.

The first bar up is one of my favourites and definitely my go-to spot in Vancouver - Pourhouse. While it's a somewhat new establishment (about three years old), it feels like a very old one as soon as you walk in. Sitting at the bar made from reclaimed Douglas fir from the 1920's you'll feel like you're sitting at an actual saloon at the turn of the century. All the bartenders are vested (as they should be), the lighting sets a mood, French absinthe fountains adorn the bar, and the menu and style of the cocktails themselves are consistently classic in mentality. Each of the bartenders here are skilled and knowledgeable and typically go for the well-crafted classic and simple over newer and more complicated concoctions of infusions and crazy syrups (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with those things, I just happen to be more classic-minded myself).

I will save the rest I have to say about Pourhouse for whenever I get around to doing a proper review, so let's move on to the drink.

Today's Fernet February cocktail is "The Bittercup" by Pourhouse bar manager, Christopher Flett. It's possibly the most interesting Fernet cocktail I've ever tried, and just looking at the recipe reveals a creative and gutsy idea in general. Despite the intense and bitter flavours involved, the drink balances extremely well - like that of "bitter strawberries," as Flett puts it. It's so delicious my lady and I have started buying prosecco just to have a few day's worth of pre-dinner Bittercup's.

So without further adieu,

The Bittercup:
1 oz   Campari
1/2oz Fernet Branca
1/2oz real cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail)
3/4oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/4oz simple syrup
2 oz  dry prosecco

Pour all ingredients except prosecco into a shaker. Shake. Taste and balance bitterness with simple syrup (the taste of bitter strawberries is the goal). Double strain into a cocktail glass. Finish with prosecco.

Thanks to Christopher and the Pourhouse for a creative, tasty, and refreshing drink that has become a mainstay at my home bar, and a common order every time we visit.

I encourage everyone reading to share your own Fernet cocktails in the comments area, and of course, please discuss the drinks themselves if you feel so inclined! See you in a day or two for a new Fernet cocktail...

[[ see the Fernet February introduction here ]]
[[ see the "Gastown Swizzle" from L'Abattoir here ]]
[[ see the "Dark and Fernet-y" from Rob Roy here ]]
[[ see the "Chinatown Sour" from The Keefer here ]]
[[ see "Pandemonium" from Veneto Tapa Lounge here ]]
[[ see "The Vested Bartender" from Boneta here ]]
[[ see "The Parliament" from The Diamond here ]]
[[ see "Parliament Hill" from The Hideout here ]]
[[ see "The Lucky Lady" from The Refinery here ]]
[[ see "The Denny Triangle" from Jamie Boudreau / Canon here ]]

1 comment:

  1. Trying all these new Fernet drinks is really showing me how well it pairs with fruit...